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tv   Meet the Author  BBC News  February 12, 2017 7:45pm-8:01pm GMT

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"in good spirits". but perhaps not unsurprising with the ferocity with that ball being hit. he has ended up with a fracture in his cheek. that's all from sportsday. from myself and the team, bye—bye. thousands of operations are being cancelled with highly—skilled surgeons left "kicking their heels" because of a shortage of hospital beds. that's the warning from the royal college of surgeons and the organisation that represents nhs trusts. in a joint letter to the sunday times, they argue that a lack of funding for health and social care in england is leading to what they call a "shocking waste" and damaging efforts to improve efficiency. nhs england says only 1% of operations are cancelled. our health correspondent, dominic hughes, has more. over the past few weeks, the bbc two documentary series hospital has demonstrated how a shortage of beds contributes to
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the pressure on the health service. this can lead to long waits for those needing to be admitted from accident and emergency departments, but also for those needing planned surgery. i sometimes feel that i spend as much energy on trying to organise and manage beds and the movement, the flow, of patients within the hospital to allow us to do what we want to get on with, which is to operate. the programme showed how if beds are not available for patients to recover in safely, operations simply cannot go ahead. now the royal college of surgeons and the nhs body that represents nhs trusts says this is damaging efforts to improve productivity with surgeons left kicking their heels while they wait for beds to be made free. we are waiting for someone to let us do work. it is not good for the staff and it is not good for the patients and it is not good for the efficiency of the nhs.
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the latest figures from nhs england reveal more than 95% of beds were occupied last week, well above the 85% that is regarded as the safe limit. the problem is closely linked to delays in providing adequate care outside of hospital, especially for frail and elderly patients once they are ready to be discharged. today, doctors and hospital managers say fixing the nhs means fixing social care, and learning the lessons of an extraordinarily tough winter which is not over yet. dominic hughes, bbc news. now it's time for meet the author. two writers, one book. a novel not in prose but in free verse. we come apart was produced by sarah crossan and brian conaghan, writing separately and sending each other chapters using social media. it is probably the first novel created on what'sapp. they have won awards for writing for young readers, and this is a story about two
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youngsters who meet by chance when they are both in different kinds of trouble. she is from a violent home, he is a romanian immigrant who is the target of abuse in the street here, but who is also facing the threat of an arranged marriage back home. they find common cause, and their secret lives come together. welcome. sarah, how did this come about? i was writing another book at the time, and i had met brian once, we had met when we were both short listed for the carnegie medal, and he sent me a message on twitter and that he was thinking about writing a verse novel, and then he asked if i wanted to collaborate. it was as simple as that?
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it was as simple as that, and we didn't know each other so there was nothing to lose. brian, did you want a helping hand? to put it crudely, yes. i wanted to write a verse novel, and i probably didn't have the confidence to attack it individually. had you written in free verse before, or any poetry? i had, as a young aspiring writer, i had written a lot of bad poetry. but in the novel form, i hadn't. and when you started, as i said at the beginning, you used what'sapp to communicate. how long did it take you to put this together, because it is a reasonably substantial book? the first draft took about five or six weeks. it is quick, and it began with me working on an individual project and brian working on an individual project, and sending a chapter a day.
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but it became quite frenzied. my agent will get it after i think the book is finished. you write something, and within 20 minutes someone else has read it. it was completely new to me. i had never had any experience of collaborating with anyone, so i think this experience is, for me personally, i think it was a fantastic experience. the benefit was we did not know one another, so there was no relationship to destroy. we could be brutal with each other and say, that is not good enough. is this story of the two teenagers who have, in different ways, troubled lives, in an atmosphere of some frenzy and difficulty and foreboding, you wrote the boy's voice, and you wrote the girl's voice, and that was the way it was throughout, you never swapped ? from the first draft,
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it was the best way to approach, i would take on the male character and sarah would take on the female character. the first edit, we took ownership of both characters. we did a line edit ourselves. they are both very interesting characters. jess comes from a troubled background and she has gotten into trouble. the boy is a romanian immigrant with all that entails. there is this threat of him going home, so they are really going through quite a crisis, both of them. does theirfriendship get them through it? i suppose so. i think that their friendship is the only thing they have at the end. jess initially looks like she has a lot in her life, she appears to have a family and friends at school, but when that all starts to unravel, and we see really what is going on withjess, and the boy steps up to save her in some ways.
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i don't like the idea of a female character being saved by a male character, but she saves him and he saves her in a way that no one else would have done. without going into the details of the ending, their fears are still there and the horrors are still there at the end, it is not as if everything is expunged in some wonderful blaze of light. that is just not realistic, it is not how life works. although we wanted the novel to end in a hopeful way, it still had to be realistic to what the situations were. someone is not going to come out of a family with domestic abuse and start skipping down the high road. you didn't want the story wrapped in a pink ribbon at the end? there is a lot of hope, and we wanted to create that, but in the terms of creating a nice happy ending, it would not have fitted in with story and the characters. what do you think, because this is your first expedition
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into writing in the novel form, what do you think that form brought to these characters, what did it allow you to do in terms of giving them advice? —— giving them a voice. the paucity of language that you have with the form, every word has to mean something, it has to have a significance, and i think especially these characters, they do not have a voice in theirenvironment, they are marginalised, and they use this language with each other. we are talking about street language, some of it fairly rough. the boy's english is very characterful in the sense that it is partial. i know what it is like to live in a place where you can't speak the language and you feel very isolated within that. and the tools that you have you use, irrespective of right or wrong,
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it is all about communicatioon for the boy, he is not necessarily interested in getting to the finer aspects of the language. you must have discovered quite a lot about each other as writers as well? i suppose so. the process was so interesting because we literally did not have a conversation, it was all online. brian sent me the first chapter, i sent him another chapter, and we did not have a discussion about where we were going to go or what we were going to do. was that deliberate? you wanted to do your own thing and have it protected? we wanted to see how the characters would develop rather than us having too much input into that. that made it really exciting. there were moments in the story where there were things that i did not expect to happen, and i had to go with it because that was brian's decision. you are both very successful in your own right, you are a multi—award winning author, sarah, and brian you have just won the children's book award,
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are you going to do this kind of collaboration again? it is a question we have asked ourselves. we are very busy at the moment. we have thrown a few ideas around, and we have spoken about it, but again it is finding the time. if you think this has worked, it would be hard not to do it again, wouldn't it? you might even talk to each other. we might even have a conversation! again, without giving the ending away, you could take the story on. have you thought of that? only now. well, there you are. for me personally, if i was doing something i would like to move away from those characters. those characters, for me, have told me as much as they can tell me, and i'm finished withjess. for the moment. sarah crossan and brian conaghan, thank you very much. thank you. thank you. hello. with a
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few notable exceptions, today has been cold, bleak and raw. some others have seen more snowfall. in the next few days we will go from late winter to early spring. perhaps not quite, but with some sunshine, we will notice the difference. that is the message over the next few days, slowly and erratically it will become milder. good news for many of us. become milder. good news for many of us. not mailed out there tonight, still a cold easterly wind. snowfall over the pennines but that will fade. dampness across northern areas. clear skies pushing into the south later tonight. it will not be as cold as the last few nights, but three or 4 degrees in the breeze will not feel all that clever. monday will be a different day for
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some. across other areas we will see increasing amounts of sunshine. we will have to factor in the strong westerly wind. further north, it will be a struggle. the cloud will not break up. it will stay overcast for some all day long. across the east and of england. there are questions over how quickly the cloud will break other parts of wales, the midlands and east anglia. for many southern counties, we will see lots of sunshine. quite a transformation compared with the weekend. temperatures responding, io compared with the weekend. temperatures responding, 10 degrees in some places. i mentioned the strength of the wind. it will be noticeable across western coastal hills. an unusual direction. 50 mph gust could cause problems. there are warnings in force from the met office. the strong winds continue into the night, as indicated by the tightness of the ice bars. windy on
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tuesday. this weather front will bring showery rain to south west england. most other places will be dry. questions over how much sunshine you will see. eddie cold on north sea coast. for most, temperatures will be higher than they have been. this weather front is followed by another one. getting the detail that will not be easy, but the message is that there will be showery rain around on the course of wednesday. by thursday, most places will be dry and it will be settling down with later winds, and temperatures higher than they have been. this is bbc news, i'm nicholas owen. the headlines at 8:00pm: president trump says he'll strengthen links with allies in the pacific region following north korea's latest missile launch. the house of commons speaker, john bercow, insists he's impartial — no matter how he voted in the eu referendum. labour's deputy leader, tom watson, denies the party has been considering possible successors tojeremy corbyn. a group of retired bishops accuses church of england leaders of suppressing the views of gay christians.
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also in the next hour — hollywood royaltyjoin british royalty at this year's baftas. they've braved the winter weather to attend the biggest awards night for uk film at the royal albert hall. and in half an hour we'll be high in the french alps
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